Ukrainians call for reporter who distorted news about the Holodomor to be stripped of Pulitzer


You see an error in the text - select the fragment and press Ctrl + Enter

Ukrainian journalists are urging the Pulitzer Prize Board to strip reporter Walter Duranty of his prize for covering up the Holodomor. The statement by the MediaRukh media community was posted on detector.media.

Walter Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his series of manipulative reports from the Soviet Union in which he justified concentration camps, explained why enemies of the Soviet government should be destroyed, and justified Stalinist totalitarianism.  


Duranty supported Soviet propaganda and denied the Holodomor in Ukraine in his articles.


«We can debate the reasons why Mr. Duranty covered Stalin’s horrific totalitarian regime and the entire USSR in this way. But there is no doubt that his apologetic reports, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, had a profound effect on the way the United States and the rest of the world perceived the Soviet dictatorship. Even the most well-written reports do not deserve a reward if they are based on lies, manipulation, and justification of mass murder», — the journalists say, adding that Duranty’s reports helped establish Stalin in the eyes of the international community as a «wise» politician rather than a bloodthirsty tyrant and Hitler’s partner in starting World War II.


The signatories of the appeal go on to say that russia’s current war against Ukraine is a consequence of the West’s failure to denounce the russian tradition of totalitarianism. They note that the Pulitzer board denied a similar request in 2003 to revoke Duranty’s prize.


«The honorable board recognized Ukrainian journalists for their “courage, endurance, and commitment to truthful reporting …” We now appeal to you to also show courage and recognize Mr. Duranty’s award as a mistake and to revoke his prize».


You can join the appeal by writing to: info@detector.media. 


Walter Duranty was a Moscow-based reporter for The New York Times for 14 years. He criticized Gareth Jones’s “horror stories” about the Holodomor and consistently denied the artificial famine in Ukraine. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.  


This year the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded a special citation to the journalists of Ukraine for their coverage of russia’s war against Ukraine. In their statement, the Ukrainian journalists say that the collective award is a great honor for those who have seen a clear distinction between «free speech» and «russian propaganda» since 2014. 


Read also: The person who knew too much: the most important facts about Gareth Jones


Photo: John Rooney/AP